COVID-19 information   Resources 

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as cold or flu symptoms, call Healthline (0800 358 5453) or your doctor to find out if you need a test.

If you are offered a test for COVID-19, please take it. It will help us ensure we don’t have community transmission, and help keep your friends, family and whānau safe.

A COVID-19 test is free of charge. This applies regardless of your citizenship, immigration status, nationality or level of medical insurance coverage.

You may need to pay for a test if it’s for the purpose of entering another country. Information on getting a pre-departure COVID-19 test |

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

If you have cold or flu symptoms, call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or call your doctor. They will advise you whether you need to be tested and where you can go for testing. You may be referred to a COVID testing centre to receive your test.

Visit the Healthpoint website for locations of COVID-19 testing sites.

What are the options for patients who need a test but can’t access a testing centre?

Call Healthline or your doctor in the first instance. If transport to a testing centre is a challenge, your healthcare provider can discuss options with you, including the possibility of home-based testing if that is available.

Should everyone with flu-like symptoms be tested for COVID-19?

It is important that people discuss the need for testing with Healthline or their doctor.

How is the test done?


(Video produced by Raukura Hauora o Tainui and presented by Dr Mataroria Lyndon via Procare Health)

How long will it take to get my results?

You will usually find out your results within 48 hours. However, some tests may take longer depending on the time of day of your test or day of the week. If your test is done on Friday afternoon you may not get your result until Tuesday for example. Swabs are collected from the various testing centres around the region and sent to a laboratory for analysis. If you are very unwell and need to go to hospital your test will be prioritised. Otherwise, you may be sent home and asked to self-isolate as if you had COVID-19 until your test results are available.

What if my test comes back positive?

If your test result is positive, you will be contacted as soon as possible by Regional Public Health. In conjunction with your doctor or health care professional, they will advise you of the next steps to manage your care from that point.

Last updated 17 November 2021.